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TIFTON — The Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation has announced plans to evaluate the development of a regional medical education simulation and training center.

The project’s goals are to build academic and clinical partnerships across south Georgia and to enhance experiential learning opportunities for students and providers while serving as a focal point and catalyst for the development, understanding and advancement of simulation and related technologies throughout the region.

“Building capacity for health care simulation and training will aid in the development of the region’s health professions work force while stimulating local economies,” David Bridges, director of the center, said. “Additionally, this project will support the improvement of health care indicators, health care delivery and health outcomes in south Georgia.”

As health care delivery and related technology continue to grow in complexity, simulation centers also are evolving to provide clinicians and students more realistic educational experiences. Aligning academic, clinical and government resources to create a regional center is designed to allow for the development and application of new methodologies and technologies in training and education for physicians, nurses, residents, first responders, students, caregivers and others.

The center project will focus on a regional need’s assessment and market share analysis. Consultants with Tripp Umbach will work collaboratively with the center to conduct these studies and report findings at a September symposium.

Tripp Umbach is an independent consulting firm working nationally and internationally to provide community health needs assessments, economic impact studies, feasibility studies, economic development and market research to more than 1,000 clients.

“Evaluating the opportunity to develop a transformational platform for collaboration among such a wide variety of stakeholders is exciting in that it could have the potential to drive both health and economic development in south Georgia,” Paul Umbach, Tripp Umbach’s founder and president, said.

Simulated training has a direct and immediate impact on patient safety and quality in clinical facilities and is an integral part of training students and residents. The growth in technology means simulating realistic experiences in a range of scenarios, from simple blood draws to complicated cases.

Simulation allows all medical professionals to maintain confidence in skills by replicating scenarios in a no-harm situation. This becomes even more critical in a rural region like southwest Georgia, where timely treatment and efficiency can be influenced by proximity to the nearest hospital and trauma center.

Housed at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, the center serves as a central information and research hub for rural best practices, which may include community planning, industry-specific assistance and cooperative efforts with state and federal entities, nonprofit organizations and other higher education partners.

With a focus on producing results that directly impact rural people and places, the center works to reconnect the state’s rural and urban people and places, rediscovering all that is unique and extraordinary in the state’s less populated areas and reminding all Georgians of the power and potential present in small towns and crossroads communities.

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